What is at stake in Iraqi Kurdish vote for independence? – BBC News

Next week’s referendum in Iraq on the demands of ethnic Kurds for independence is a ‘destabilising’ exercise according to the White House. There are fears that if the territory did breakaway it could cause renewed conflict. The Kurds who live in oil-rich Northern Iraq coloured in red on this map account for nearly a fifth of the country’s population. For the past few years — they’ve been in the front line of the battle against Islamic State.

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